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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Retreat With Fewer Aircraft Bookings
by Tom Moeller  September 25, 2014

New orders for durable goods fell back 18.2% during August (+8.9% y/y) following a 22.5% July surge, revised from 22.6%. The shortfall roughly matched expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Orders were pulled lower by a 74.3% falloff (+46.7% y/y) in bookings for nondefense aircraft & parts which surged 315.6% in July. The decline pulled overall transportation sector orders down 42.0% (+12.6% y/y), without which durable orders would have rebounded 0.7% (7.3% y/y) from a 0.5% dip.

In most other sectors new orders firmed. Electrical equipment orders improved 3.1% (7.1% y/y) following a 2.7% decline. Orders for computers & electronic products rose 1.7% (11.0% y/y) after a 0.8% drop. This gain contained an 8.4% decline (+0.4% y/y) in orders for computers & related products and a 3.5% rise (8.1% y/y) in communication equipment bookings. Primary metal orders fell 0.7% (+9.1% y/y) after a 0.1% slip and orders for machinery improved 0.7% (7.6% y/y) following a 1.6% fall.

Shipments of durable goods declined 1.5% (+6.4% y/y) following a 3.7% increase. Shipments excluding transportation ticked 0.1% higher (7.1% y/y) after a 1.9% jump. Order backlogs gained 0.6% (12.8% y/y) following a 5.3% increase. Inventory building continued with a 0.4% (6.3% y/y) rise for the third consecutive month.

The durable goods figures are available in Haver's USECON database. The Action Economics consensus forecast figure is in the AS1REPNA database.

Durable Goods NAICS Classification Aug Jul Jun Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
New Orders (SA, %) -18.2 22.5 2.7 8.9 5.2 4.1 11.0
  Transportation -42.0 73.3 2.2 12.6 7.9 8.9 14.9
Total Excluding Transportation 0.7 -0.5 3.0 7.3 4.0 2.1 9.5
  Nondefense Capital Goods -36.3 60.8 5.1 13.7 8.7 3.7 15.3
    Excluding Aircraft 0.6 -0.2 5.4 7.5 5.0 2.1 11.6
Shipments -1.5 3.7 1.2 6.4 3.7 6.4 9.4
Inventories 0.4 0.4 0.4 6.3 3.8 4.5 10.8
Unfilled Orders 0.6 5.3 1.0 12.8 7.0 3.6 10.0
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